National Volunteers’ Week is a time to celebrate the incredible impact that is made by thousands of people who give their time and energy to improve the lives of those around them.
Liz has been volunteering for local reading charity ABC to Read for seven years. The charity recruit and train volunteers to give one-to-one mentoring and support to local youngsters who are identified by their schools as struggling with their reading. Driven by her passion to enthuse young people to read and pass on her belief that reading is a fundamental skill that can drastically improve life chances, Liz has been mentoring year six children at Lynch Hill School in Slough.
Thanks to ABC to Read’s model of working with children on an individual basis, Liz is able to explain and expand upon words that the children need particular help with, developing their comprehension and confidence. She uses her own enjoyment of crosswords and word searches, to make her volunteering more personal, encouraging the children to engage with word puzzles that are both fun and educational. To reward the children’s hard work and acknowledge improvement in front of their peers, Liz is also integrated into the school community, giving out a prize at the end of the year for the most improved reader.
Through her volunteering, Liz gives these local children the rare gift of space and time to practice and improve their reading without judgement or pressure. The progress and joy experienced by ABC to Read children is motivation enough for Liz not only to continue volunteering herself, but to encourage others to do likewise and she has just welcomed new ABC to Read volunteer, Ann-Marie, to Lynch Hill School.
ABC to Read are looking to recruit more volunteers from across Berkshire to help children rediscover the fun in reading. Ideally, each volunteer should be over 18, love reading and be free for two afternoons per week for at least one school year, totalling three hours per week. The charity will support all volunteers by providing training and resources, as well as introductory visits to schools. New Volunteer trainings are to be carried out this term.
Schools within Berkshire are also welcome to sign up for the scheme, as there are many more local children who could benefit from ABC to Read volunteer mentors. For more information or to book onto the next training course, please visit www.abctoread.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org